About the Project
The Nutritional Physiology Research Group within the department of Sport and Health Sciences, St Luke’s Campus, Exeter
Dietary protein is of crucial importance for maintenance of skeletal muscle mass, and for the reconditioning of muscle tissue in response to physical exercise (Wall et al. 2014). Such nutritional effects are primarily achieved due to dietary protein providing the ‘signal’ and ‘building blocks’ (amino acids) for stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Recent research (e.g. Monteyne et al. 2020; van Vliet et al. 2017; Burd et al. 2019) has pointed to various aspects about a ‘whole food’ (as opposed to isolated protein sources), such as non-protein co-ingested nutrients and/or interactions of the food matrix within which the protein is contained, that may contribute to the postprandial muscle protein synthetic response. Given the contemporary importance of identifying optimal dietary protein food sources, from both a nutritional (e.g. sports nutrition, healthy ageing etc.) and societal (e.g. ethical, sustainability etc.) perspective, pinpointing these regulatory factors is now crucial.
The focus of this PhD studentship will be to use stable isotope tracers to look at the impact of ingesting various whole food and/or isolated protein sources, potentially including co-ingestion of other macro/micro- nutrients, on muscle protein turnover in humans at rest and/or post-exercise. Emphasis will be placed both on the mechanistic regulation of muscle protein synthesis and translational aspects relevant to applied (sports) nutrition. This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £15,285 per year tax-free stipend. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend.
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